Eugenia Diaco (28) and Jimena Gonzalez (27) met at FADU (Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urbanism). Their partnership began with a process of fashion design investigation for the Department of Andrea Saltzman, an Argentinian Architect who, since 1989, has been influencing the Fashion Design career in FADU. Later in 2014, in the same Faculty, Fractal was conceived.
Saltzman proposed to the pair conceptual appropriation of German artist Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) and his work referencing and researching new types of livable clothing, like suits linking the body and its surroundings. This was the initial response to a search that would continue and become more complex in their future label. Prototypes materialized by Diaco and Gonzalez were captivating in their silhouettes, which resulted from a strong textile intervention. The articulation of new technologies such as cutting and application of melamine plates in soft, light textiles generated a visual game with lots of seduction and intrigue. Those were some of the feelings that were projected to the public who witnessed the Beuys tributary show 'La Metáfora de la Piel' (The metaphor of the skin) at the Fundación Proa museum.
Both partners decided to continue working together and their shared energy and commitment determined what would happened next. The greatest success of the pair rose from this shared drive. The final approach matured from what might be defined almost as portable art installations in a new series that referred to the silhouette of the 20’s. Patterns composed of squares and rectangles functioned as body panels (or tissues) that they broke with a very special effect. The drop cloth texture was structured by the hot melt melamine triangles on top of the fabric. This unique look and technique became Fractal, which appeared on Saltzman’s runway in December at Club Hípico Buenos Aires, in the neighborhood of Palermo.
To crown the promising academic career of the duo, they appeared at FEBA (Fashion Edition Buenos Aires). This fashion event, created by Faena Hotel and Mercedes-Benz Argentina, became one of the main international platforms to provide an opportunity for new talents. Designers developed a capsule collection that summarizes their vision of design today based on a slogan. A team of fashion experts, including Gustavo Lento Navarro (Fashion and Graphic Designer related to University of Palermo), Andrea Saltzman and Turquoise Topper (director of the Fashion Design career in UADE and CEO of the Topper brand), selected the best eight collections, which were presented at the FEBA runway in March 2015 at the Buenos Aires Faena Hotel. The competition winners obtained financial support to develop the collection to present at fashion week in Mexico the same year.
Once the pair was selected among seven other interesting projects, they began to take their first steps on a catwalk that left the academic sphere and entered the first circuit approach to the fashion industry, primarily in Argentina. The team faced the complex job of articulating what used to be an academic endeavor into a much more realistic context by providing everyday attire while keeping the avant-garde style. The Fractal effect was reproduced in dresses, skirts and tops. They reinforced textile intervention with laser cutting. The opposition of presence and absence of materials (relief and depth), hypnotic elements and light, sci-romantic sensuality are some specific characteristics of the garments. Despite the duo's hard work and innovative collection of three looks, they didn't get the prize to develop and show their whole collection at Mexico Fashion Week. However, as they say, every cloud has a silver lining, and the experience gave them the chance to strengthen their presence in the local market.
Due to the different career goals the pair broke up in the search of their own objectives. Both designers took different job opportunities within the same industry. Eugenia Diaco took over the Fractal project herself and assumed the responsibility of the continuing risks of a venture boiling project. A strong emerging project with industrial and structural weaknesses has everything to grow on with experimental experience. In July 2015, Diaco presented Fractal to Pasarela BA, another platform for young talent in the municipality of Buenos Aires. The selected new talents had the chance to take part in BAFWEEK (Buenos Aires Fashion Week), together with the best fashion designers established in the local and international market. Once selected from numerous submitted promising projects, Fractal showed 'Sierspinsk' SS16, a collection inspired by fractals studies done by Polish mathematicians and parametric design, a procedure used mainly in architecture from the 1980s. Both resources were combined under the technology applied by Eugenia Diaco in textiles. Again, printing sectored plates were made with melamine plates applied with heat onto vaporous textiles. The novelty of the proposal stemmed from a movement towards a cleaner, geometric and more widely accessible product. This was done by implementing typologies that create dialogue with the requirements of contemporary dress silhouette. Dresses, blouses, pants, skirts, and coats were accompanied by styling that evoked the dialogue between nature and technology. In August of 2015, Fractal took part in the most important Argentine runway show. This opportunity increased the brand’s share in the local market.
New challenges naturally arose for the new graduate in Buenos Aires. However, limitations were offset by great opportunities for growth as a brand in the field of local fashion. Fractal agreed to participate in exhibitions, showrooms, runways and fashion press releases that helped Diaco’s brand broadcast. One of the most significant collaborations was with Argentinian photographer Gaby Herbstein's 'Foundation Romeo' for the diffusion of theater in slums. Fractal dressed energetic pop artist Marta Minujin. Under the slogan "theater transforms you" Minujin wore a black overall to impersonate a retro-futuristic Cleopatra.
Diaco is currently working on her new AW16 collection. When we spoke to her she was awaiting confirmation for her second participation in BAFWEEK, again at the hands of Pasarela BA. Certainly, we believe that whatever the outcome of her participation, Fractal will continue to grow according to Diaco's concerns with technology, fashion and construction of contemporary bodies. Fractal is the living example of what it takes for a young entrepreneur to survive and grow in the fashion realm of the Buenos Aires Scene. Whatever the fate of Fractal will be, we know for sure she will build new bonds with other fields that will feed the exponential growth